Mental Health Services

Health written question – answered on 27th March 2014.

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Photo of Luciana Berger Luciana Berger Shadow Minister (Public Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department has taken to ensure that patients' views and feedback are taken into account in the delivery of mental health services.

Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb The Minister of State, Department of Health

The Department is clear that the most important measure of quality is what people who use mental health services think. There are a range of national surveys which both collect feedback from patients and ensure that it is used in the design, development and delivery of services.

Responsibility for the national surveys previously carried out by the Department passed to NHS England on 1 April 2013.

The NHS England intelligence programme is promoting the use of Patient Reported Outcome Measures and Patient Reported Experience Measures to inform service planning.

The Francis Report highlighted the Friends and Family Test (FFT) as one of the most important mechanisms for identifying poor quality services early. The FFT asks patients and staff how likely they are to recommend a health or care provider's services to their friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment.

The FFT is already being used in a number of mental health care settings. From the end of December 2014, it will be used routinely in all mental health care settings. But we are encouraging providers to start using it sooner.

A range of services, including Improving Access to Psychological Therapies, monitor quality and outcomes through patient experience questionnaires as part of quality assurance processes. We would expect services to act on this information to improve services.

The Care Quality Commission Community Mental Health Survey provides annual information at both national and trust level. This allows trusts to act on the feedback at a local level and make improvements in the delivery of services.

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